Course Schedule for Summer 2018


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BLHS-103-40

Biblical Literature and the Ancient World

This course studies Biblical literature in the social, political, and religious context of the ancient Mediterranean world. It begins with a historical overview that is careful to map it onto the "Greeks and Romans" course so that students will be oriented historically and geographically and see the overlap. It traces the history (including prehistory) of ancient Hebrews, the emergence of Christianity, the early relationship between Judaism and Christianity, and the struggle for Christianity to define itself in the Roman Empire before it became for all practical purposes the official religion of the Roman Empire. Segment 1: Hebrew Scripture: Text and Context This segment introduces the student to the literature of ancient Judaism, which eventually was collected in the Hebrew Bible. The segment's chronological framework extends from the formation of ancient Israel in the land of Canaan down to the emergence of Hellenistic Judaism in the post-Exilic age. Within that framework, the segment will cover the pre-history of ancient Israel as a people developing among its neighbors in the ancient Near East. Likewise will it consider the pre-literary and literary history of biblical texts. Attention to genre, literary form, and the redaction of biblical texts will comprise the main part of the segment. Consideration of relevant archeological discoveries will show the relationship between material and literary culture in ancient Israel. Towards this end, various literary and historical methods of biblical study will help the student to apprehend the biblical texts themselves, set against the religious, social, and political history of ancient Israel. Segment 2: New Testament: Text and Context This segment introduces the student to the literature of early Christianity, which eventually was collected in the New Testament. Restricting itself to the time between 50-110 CE, the chronological framework of the course is co-terminus with the time of the production of New Testament texts. These writings will be examined according to their genre, literary forms, and historical context. To that end, the history of the earliest Christian communities will be recovered from these texts to the extent that that can be reasonably done. For example, the establishment, growth and maintenance of communities of Pauline Christians will be apprehended from a careful chronological examination of Paul's Letters. The Gospels will yield valuable information for understanding the earliest Jesus movement and the handing on of its tradition to the later communities for which those Gospels were composed. The relevant historical context of the Greco-Roman period, as that has affected the formation of earliest Christianity and its literature, will also be considered. Segment 3: Religions in the Roman Empire (ca. second through the fifth centuries CE) This segment studies the struggle of early Christians to define themselves and the

  • Course #: BLHS-103-40
  • CRN: 11638
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructors: Jensen, J. , Rasmussen, A.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:

BLHS-105-40

Faith and Reason in the Middle Ages

The relation between faith and reason is one of the perennial issues in Western thought. With the renaissance of the twelfth century and the founding of universities throughout Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the question of faith and reason was dramatically recast. The rediscovery of Aristotle—and so, the use of Aristotelian logic, grammar, physics, and metaphysics—led to the development of new methods of inquiry, categories of thought, and modes of expression. This course begins with the twelfth-century renaissance; the cross-fertilization among Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars; the rise of the universities as important institutions; and the development of scholasticism. It focuses on particular on the development of the scholastic method, resistance to it, and, in particular, discussions and sometimes fierce debates about "faith and reason" in Christianity and Judaism. The course also looks at the issue of authority and alternative approaches to faith and reason (e.g., mystical texts and vernacular theologies), the category of "heresy" and its ramifications (social, political, religious). Segment 1: Scholasticism The focus of this segment is on the universities and scholastic philosophy and theology. It examines stages of development of the scholastic method, with special focus on the role of reason and its relation to faith. The rubric of "Faith and Reason" will be considered both narrowly (explicit discussions of faith and reason) and broadly (how it gets played out in ethics and in discussions of freedom and grace). Students will study particular conflicts in order to appreciate just what was at stake: tensions betweens monastic theology and scholastic theology (e.g., between Bernard of Clairvaux and Peter Abelard), bitter disagreements within the universities (e.g., among various faculties, and/or between Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure), and struggles of authority between scholastics and their prelates. Segment 2: Vernacular Theology New systems of education in medieval Europe had many social effects, among them growing literacy among the laity. This led to another response to some of the methods and conclusions of scholasticism, especially regarding faith and reason. This segment begins with the "new mysticism" that emerged in the thirteenth century. The focus here is on the texts of male and female mystics whose authority comes not from their office but from "grace"—that is to say, from what is claimed to be a direct gift from God. How did they understand faith and reason? This segment also studies the proliferation of vernacular theologies in the late Middle Ages, their threat to secular and ecclesial authorities, and their role in social transformation. It also looks at the response to such mystics and lay theologians, especially the increased use of the label "heresy" and methods to counter and subdue the so-called "heretics." Segment 3: Judaism This segment of

Note: This is a core class. The relation between faith and reason is one of the perennial issues in Western thought. With the renaissance of the twelfth century and the founding of universities throughout Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the question of faith and reason was dramatically recast. The rediscovery of Aristotle—and so, the use of Aristotelian logic, grammar, physics, and metaphysics—led to the development of new methods of inquiry, categories of thought, and modes of expression. This course begins with the twelfth-century renaissance; the cross-fertilization among Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars; the rise of the universities as important institutions; and the development of scholasticism. It focuses on particular on the development of the scholastic method, resistance to it, and, in particular, discussions and sometimes fierce debates about "faith and reason" in Christianity and Judaism. The course also looks at the issue of authority and alternative approaches to faith and reason (e.g., mystical texts and vernacular theologies), the category of "heresy" and its ramifications (social, political, religious). Segment 1: Scholasticism The focus of this segment is on the universities and scholastic philosophy and theology. It examines stages of development of the scholastic method, with special focus on the role of reason and its relation to faith. The rubric of "Faith and Reason" will be considered both narrowly (explicit discussions of faith and reason) and broadly (how it gets played out in ethics and in discussions of freedom and grace). Students will study particular conflicts in order to appreciate just what was at stake: tensions betweens monastic theology and scholastic theology (e.g., between Bernard of Clairvaux and Peter Abelard), bitter disagreements within the universities (e.g., among various faculties, and/or between Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure), and struggles of authority between scholastics and their prelates. Segment 2: Vernacular Theology New systems of education in medieval Europe had many social effects, among them growing literacy among the laity. This led to another response to some of the methods and conclusions of scholasticism, especially regarding faith and reason. This segment begins with the "new mysticism" that emerged in the thirteenth century. The focus here is on the texts of male and female mystics whose authority comes not from their office but from "grace"—that is to say, from what is claimed to be a direct gift from God. How did they understand faith and reason? This segment also studies the proliferation of vernacular theologies in the late Middle Ages, their threat to secular and ecclesial authorities, and their role in social transformation. It also looks at the response to such mystics and lay theologians, especially the increased use of the label "heresy" and methods to counter and subdue the so-called "heretics." Segment 3: Judaism This segment of

  • Course #: BLHS-105-40
  • CRN: 15567
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Ray, J.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:
  • Syllabus: Download

BLHS-102-140

Greeks and Romans

This course introduces students to the literature and culture of the Greeks and Romans, with particular attention paid to texts whose influence will be seen in later parts of the curriculum. It includes a brief overview of the history and geography of the ancient Mediterranean world and includes some discussion of material culture, but its primary focus is textual. The course aims to introduce students to some of the major genres of writing to come out of the ancient Mediterranean, with special emphasis placed on epic, tragedy, comedy, historiographical prose, and philosophy. Although philosophical texts are taught as a separate segment, they will be read as part of a broader ancient discussion, played out in other genres as well, of questions of justice, freedom, and the like. Given the nature of the texts read, students will require grounding in the basics of ancient Greek and Roman religion and ritual practice. Since this will be one of the first literary courses taken by students, special focus will be placed on close reading and analysis.


BLHS-100-140

Introduction to Ethics

A signature piece of a Jesuit education is the study of Ethics. While all Core Courses explore human values and moral issues in particular historical contexts, in this course students (1) study and critique fundamental moral principles, categories, and terminology drawn from the Western philosophical and religious traditions; (2) examine basic approaches to and recurring debates about perplexing ethical issues; (3) explore through literature central moral quandaries and complexities of human life; and (4) elucidate what is normative in human experience and whence the norms are determined.

Note: A signature piece of a Jesuit education is the study of Ethics. While all Core Courses explore human values and moral issues in particular historical contexts, in this course students (1) study and critique fundamental moral principles, categories, and terminology drawn from the Western philosophical and religious traditions; (2) examine basic approaches to and recurring debates about perplexing ethical issues; (3) explore through literature central moral quandaries and complexities of human life; and (4) elucidate what is normative in human experience and whence the norms are determined.

  • Course #: BLHS-100-140
  • CRN: 14881
  • Format: Online
  • Instructor: Havrilak, G.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018

BLHV-201-40

Let Them Eat Culture: The History and Politics of Food

Oddly this class is not really about food directly (i.e., no recipes, no cooking, it won’t help you develop a nutrition plan or prepare you for a career in food services!). Yet, it is about how human culture, politics, and well-being have been dramatically affected by our food—how we grow it, sell it, distribute it, and eat it. Homo sapiens have existed for 250,000 years, yet civilization (and written history) emerges only 10,000 years ago. Why? For 240,000 years human beings existed as hunter gatherers chasing their food. It wasn’t until they made a transition to agriculture and domestication of animals for food that they created permanent settlements leading to a division of labor and written language. Throughout history what we eat and how we produce and distribute it has been central to trade, warfare, and the development of social class. Food has spurred political revolutions and has transformed our biological existence—in some cases for the worst and in others for the better. In the 21st century it is easy to take food for granted. Yet we spend 10 percent of each day, on average, consuming food and drink (…even more time earning enough to buy it). We’ve become disconnected from food production; this is the age of the Happy Meal, reheating rather than cooking, and celebrity chefs on multiple TV networks. We’ve forgotten how much time and energy it once took to produce and prepare food. We’ve lost our knowledge of even what is in our food. In this class you will learn about the food we consume now and what we ate in the past and the very real and important consequences of these choices.

Note: This course meets the non-western requirement. Class also meets on Saturday June 9 from 11 AM - 4 PM at Mount Vernon, VA

  • Course #: BLHV-201-40
  • CRN: 13725
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Gray, M.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:
  • Syllabus: Download

BLHS-104-40

Medieval Thought and Culture

This course provides an overview of medieval history and the transformations of medieval society, from the waning of the Roman Empire through the fifteenth (and early sixteenth) centuries. The focus is on Western Europe, although attention will be paid to Europeans’ perception of forces, cultures and empires beyond their borders (e.g., the Vikings, the Byzantine Empire, the rise of Islam, etc.). Through a variety of genres (literary, religious, philosophical, and political texts—as well as art and music), this course explores the medieval imagination and the many textures of medieval life and thought.

  • Course #: BLHS-104-40
  • CRN: 14888
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: McNelis, C.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:
  • Syllabus: Download

BLHV-274-140

Politics of Terrorism

How do bullets and ballots affect each other? This course explores the reality and interpretations of terrorism(s), Torture, Drones, and Humanitarian Interventions focusing on their role(s) in the forthcoming American national election by means of readings, lectures, media, research and focused discussions. Close examination of the political lessons learned from actual cases, yields different (and sometimes rival) interpretive frameworks. Weekly classroom practice in learning and applying these interpretive skills to our unfolding national elections enables students to gain new insights into the politics of terrorism, here and elsewhere.

Note: This course is online and meets the non-western requirement.


BLHV-381-40

Spying and the Intel World

One cannot read the daily newspaper or watch a television news program without seeing reports about the intelligence community. In the United States, for example, the federal government sponsors sixteen intelligence agencies. Most Americans are only aware of two: the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquartered in Langley Virginia, and the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade, Maryland. Spying and the Intelligence World is an undergraduate course that will explore the history, philosophy, and application of espionage. In the first part of the course, class readings, lectures and discussion will examine ancient and classical literature where spying is discussed with much aplomb. We will survey the history, philosophy and application of espionage at home and during the major international conflicts, from World Wars I & II, the Cold War, and the present “war on terror” fought in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. In the second part of the course, class readings, lectures and discussion will focus on contemporary issues associated with the intelligence community, such as torture, interrogation, internment camps, Just War, Covert ops, Counter-Intelligence, government eavesdropping at home, leaking classified information, etc. Paramount in this second half of the course will be case scenarios, where students will be required to plan and execute responses to real-world situations. By the conclusion of this course, students will have an entree into the exciting and clandestine world of the intelligence professional.

Note: This course meets the non-western requirement.

  • Course #: BLHV-381-40
  • CRN: 16624
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Havrilak, G.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:
  • Syllabus: Download

BLHS-107-40

The Early Modern World

This course examines the shift from the medieval to the modern, comparing various theories of chronological demarcation and discovering the difficulty of assessing social, political, religious, and literary phenomena. Course focuses on the Reformation, William Shakespeare, and modern science.

Note: This is a core class. This is a hybrid course with 8 asynchronous online sessions (Mondays - 6/4-7/23) and 7 in-person meetings (Wednesdays - 6/6-7/25).


BLHS-111-40

The New Millennium

This course must be taken as the student’s final course in the Core in that it draws on all the Core Courses. This is a course on late twentieth- and early twenty-first century America. Its time frame roughly corresponds to the life spans of most BALS students. Its purpose is to help apply the critical approaches they have learned elsewhere to the world in which they live.

Note: This is a core class. Class will be held at Berkley Center, 3307 M St. NW Suite. 200.

  • Course #: BLHS-111-40
  • CRN: 11637
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Kessler, M.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:
  • Syllabus: Download

BLHS-109-40

The Nineteenth Century

This course begins with Romanticism—its critique of the Enlightenment, its insistence that there is more to being human than reason, and its new way of envisioning the relationship between the individual and nature as well as between the individual and society. Romanticism began in Germany at the very end of the 18th century, was brought to England via Coleridge and Wordsworth, and crossed the Atlantic to America.

Note: This course begins with Romanticism—its critique of the Enlightenment, its insistence that there is more to being human than reason, and its new way of envisioning the relationship between the individual and nature as well as between the individual and society. Romanticism began in Germany at the very end of the 18th century, was brought to England via Coleridge and Wordsworth, and crossed the Atlantic to America.

  • Course #: BLHS-109-40
  • CRN: 13731
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Wackerfuss, A.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:
  • Syllabus: Download

BLHS-106-40

The Renaissance

This course focuses on the concerns and practices of Renaissance thinkers, writers, and artists, with particular attention paid to the ways in which they defined their own intellectual and artistic projects and how they situated them vis à vis the antecedent traditions to which they were reacting.

Note: This is a core class.

  • Course #: BLHS-106-40
  • CRN: 15574
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Krawczyk, S.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:
  • Syllabus: Download

BLHV-301-41

Independent Study

  • Course #: BLHV-301-41
  • CRN: 16868
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Kessler, M.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:

BLHV-301-43

Independent Study

  • Course #: BLHV-301-43
  • CRN: 16870
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Neimeyer, C.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:

BLHV-301-40

Independent Study

  • Course #: BLHV-301-40
  • CRN: 16867
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Jensen, J.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:

BLHV-301-44

Independent Study

  • Course #: BLHV-301-44
  • CRN: 16871
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Bradford, A.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:

BLHV-301-42

Independent Study

  • Course #: BLHV-301-42
  • CRN: 16869
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Rasmussen, A.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:

BLHS-110-40

War and Peace

In this course we analyze problems of war and peace from authoritarian, liberal, and realistic perspectives in the context of some national, ideological, and racial conflicts of the twentieth century. The course has two major components, one theoretical and the other humanist focused on novels, memoirs, historical narrations and films. We will study the views of the influential German jurist and political philosopher Carl Schmitt, a Nazi collaborator, who claims that the concept of enemy is the essence of the political and the ever present possibility of war is a reality humans can only deny hypocritically and are powerless to remove; the opposing view of American philosopher John Rawls who holds that a liberal conception of justice can be the basis for peace between peoples because even illiberal “decent” peoples may use it to solve international conflicts and avoid war; Samuel Huntington´s idea ( The Clash of Civilizations) that conflicts between civilizations will fuel the wars of the 21th century, and Francis Fukuyama´s theory ( The End of History and the Last Man) that the advance of democracy, capitalism, technological skills and science, in a word “globalization” will lead to a peaceful world society he identifies with the end of history.

Note: This is a core class.

  • Course #: BLHS-110-40
  • CRN: 11766
  • Format: On-campus
  • Instructor: Neimeyer, C.
  • Dates: May 21 – Aug 19, 2018
  • Class Meetings:
  • Syllabus: Download